BBC micro:bit

For my final year two module, I was asked to create a scratch game with a BBC micro:bit as a controller. The BBC micro:bit is a fantastic piece of technology which is used in computing, as the small device can be manipulated through code. However the BBC micro:bit is not just 25 Light Emitting Diodes there is also an A and B button, temperature and light sensors, an accelerometer, compass, Bluetooth antenna and 25 pins to connect to a output or input device, creating an amazing resource for both teachers and students.

Below is the anatomy of the BBC micro:bit which can be used as a resource for teachers to gain a better understanding of the micro:bit. However this could also be shared with students as they may need some prior understanding of the accelorometer and compass if they are going to use their micro:bit as a controller. For example students may need to know that the acceleorometer has 3 axis to detect movement as this may affect the code they choose to manipulate their micro:bit.

microbit diagram

microbit back 2

Learning the anatomy of a micro:bit could be a boring activity therefore I have created a matching game for students to see if they can match the description to the correct component. This active learning will provide a chance for children to secure their knowledge and will enable teachers to have a better insight to the children’s understanding of what the micro:bit includes. Another fun way to do this would be through a Kahoot quiz where all of the students can join in the interactive quiz through an device connected to the internet.

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 When using the micro:bit as a game controller, you can use a BLED 112 smart dongle to wirelessly connect to a device. This is how I wirelessly connected the micro:bit to my scratch game which allowed more movement of the micro:bit.

For my game I designed a controller that is fun yet functional and depicts the fruit shop game. The initial box which I have built upon was made from a 3D printer, this box was provided by the university and encompasses the battery pack but exposes the 25 pins so that they are still available. I then embellished the box with acrylic which I shaped into fruit to link to the game.

Students could easily decorate their own cases using a variety of materials which are readily available in the DT room. Here are a few examples:

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